So, I think I’m going mad. It’s been several months now since I left the house and I’ve tried to intellectualise it, and then I’ve tried to think about it less rationally, and there’s no way I can make it make sense. I can feel my seams ripping and I am making less and less sense with each passing day, as my world becomes ever more insular and contained, constrained.
If all my experiences are a feedback loop of what I can see from four walls, then all I am built of right now is the text on a screen, and an increasingly harsh world. It is held at a distance but still pressing my shoulders down and forcing me to sit and watch. The scrolling breaking news and the tweets (except they’re not tweets anymore, are they?). The friendly reminders that I should be paying attention. Even though I am not a part of it anymore, the world is still on fire and –
I had these weird few days where I thought if I could make my room beautiful it might fix me, you know? Like, sure, I still wouldn’t be able to leave the house but maybe if I opened my curtains and let some light in, that would be practically the same thing, right? And now I am bathed in green from the window clings and the sun shining through, and I don’t feel better.
The motivation dissipated and I got stuck halfway done and now I don’t know what to do with myself. I need to put up some shelves and I need to hang the string of hearts and I need to paint a wall, but god – I’m so tired all the time.
You don’t understand how tired I am. it’s like my brain is filled with this infinitely thick miasma of black smog and I am somewhere at the back of it and reality is too many footsteps ahead for me to see it clearly.
If I bury myself in poetry books, in language that both hides and reveals all at once, then it’s not helping, is it? But at the same time, it makes the unrealness feel a little more grounded because it makes more sense to exist as a work of art; a hundred and fifty words on a page as opposed to anything solid.
And sure, you can try to derive meaning from me but I don’t think there’s any to be found, not really.
Every video on YouTube about agoraphobia is a thinly veiled advertisement for those awful therapy apps that sell your data and set terrifying precedents for what boundaries between patient and therapist should look like.
And I just want a five-minute video telling me how to go outside again. I don’t want to be sold something; I want the easy answer, please. I am begging you to stop monetising the potential of the outdoors, is all.
I’m terrified that this is all there is, all there ever will be, and I’ll lose another ten years just like I did before. And nobody understands, nobody seems to comprehend it, that I cannot go out, because it’s dangerous and it’s scary.
And, look, I’ll be honest with you – I know so many words but I don’t have the words for this. I’m sorry but I don’t, it’s animalistic and it’s primal and it’s fear and I can’t wrap my tongue around it and I can’t type it out. There isn’t language for everything, apparently.
So, then, hide away until the siren sounds the all clear, maybe? Except, what if I’m waiting for something that’ll never come? This is, after all, the same brain I’ve always had, and always will have. What if it never gets better?
So, I think I’m going mad.
Answers on a postcard to the usual address. People expect better of me than this. I’m letting everyone down. Again. How do I get myself out of this hole, when all I have is a shovel and no rope? I have missed the summer.
Goddamn, I have missed the summer.
Need more? Check out these evocative pieces from the MockingOwl Roost contributors and staff.
- Mondays – Micro essay
- I Drank From the Well of Disbelief – Poetry
- Traveling Back in Time with Outlander – Literary Travel
- Loneliness Gardens Loneliness – Poetry
- Closing Chapter on Friendship – Things I Wish I Had Said
- Bath Time – Essay
- Sputter of Acclaim – Essay
- Gratitude – Essay
- The Walkabout With My Daughter – Writing Memories
Charlotte Amelia Poe
Charlotte Amelia Poe (they/them) is an autistic nonbinary author from England. Their first book, How To Be Autistic, was published in 2019. Their debut novel, The Language Of Dead Flowers, was published in September 2022. Their second novel, Ghost Towns, was self-published in 2023. Their second memoir, (currently untitled), will be published in 2024. Their poetry has been published internationally.